Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof William Harwin


Type of module:

Summary module description:

To introduce the human from a cybernetics viewpoint, in particular to look at the design of human sensory-motor systems.

To examine how human capabilities are affected by ageing and impairment, and how this affects interactions with technology.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module the students should be able to:
•Understand basic human biomechanics and the neural controller
•Understand simple models of the muscles, tendons, neurons, proprioceptors and other elements associated with movements.
•Explain social versus medical models of disability
•Analyse and explain how ageing and impairment affect interactions with technology
•Propose designs of technology that are more inclusive
•Explain and apply an assessment of frailty

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
The course will look at topics in biomechanics and design for older adults and people with disabilities.

Biomechanics: This part of the course will look at how humans and animals move. This will include the sensory mechanisms that monitor movement, the muscles and the spinal reflex, and hypothesised mechanisms as to how the brain direct movements. Movement patterns considered will include animal gaits, minimum jerk methods, cerebellum predictors and the equilibrium point hypothesis.

Design for older adults and people with disabilities: This part of the course will look at how human capabilities change with ageing and impairment, and how this affects interactions with technology. Topics covered will include definitions and models of disability and impairment, conditions associated with ageing and impairment, human-computer interaction and assistive technologies, and inclusive design.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module comprises lectures and guided independent study.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 15
Guided independent study 80 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
2 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
MEng 50% overall module mark
MSc 50% overall module mark

Reassessment arrangements:
Examination only.
One 2-hour examination paper in August/September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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